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Partner Ecosystem Enhances the Cisco Application Centric Infrastructure Value Chain

The 25th anniversary of Cisco Live was an enormous hit, with record crowds at the Moscone Center in San Francisco. Every day I could feel the enthusiasm of Cisco customers and partners, and it was especially high in the World of Solutions Expo. That’s where I spent most of my time, on the Expo floor taking in all the technology displays, talking shop, learning, and sharing information with Cisco partners and customers. The key conference themes dominated our conversations – global Intercloud, collaboration, security, and, of course, Application Centric Infrastructure. Read More »

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The Value of Cisco Live – 7 reasons you need to go

I’m back from my first Cisco Live which was in San Francisco. It was a great experience and I hope to be back for many more events. Why should one go to Cisco Live? Here are my reasons:

1. Sessions – Cisco Live has a great variety of sessions with amazing speakers such as Denise Fishburne, Scott Morris, Pete Lumbis, Shelly Cadora, Shannon McFarland and many more. You can get deep dives into protocols, the inner workings of different Cisco platforms or sessions on the future of networking relating to topics such as SDN.

The best part is that after the session you can meet with these speakers and ask them questions. Don’t be afraid to interact with the speakers, maybe you will even keep in touch after the session. To make sure that your favourite speakers come back, fill out the surveys! Read More »

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RATs in Your Data Center

News agencies like ABC News, CNN, and others have run stories on the FBI sting operation against more than 100 hackers who were involved in using and/or distributing the Blackshades RAT (articles in the hyperlinks for reference). For a mere US$40, a novice computer user can become a hacker and gain access to anyone’s computer, including gaining control over their video camera. If this novice hacker in the making needs help operating the RAT, many video instructions can be found on YouTube. This would be a form of free technical support. With over an estimated 500,000 computers infected, that leaves behind a serious footprint of compromised devices. As Marty Roesch, Cisco VP, Security Architect would say, “If you knew you were going to be compromised, would you do security differently?”

With over a half a million computers compromised from a single remote access toolkit, it is reasonable to think that a high percentage of those compromised computers would unknowingly be brought back to work and connected to the corporate network. Although inexpensive, the Blackshades RAT has an extensive set of capabilities such as keystroke logger, web cam control, full file access, etc. More than enough for the cyber attacker to assume the full identity of the owner of the compromised computer to allow them easy access to the business critical servers inside the data center as depicted in the diagram.

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CiscoLive – 25 Years and 25,000 People

We celebrated 25 years of CiscoLive last week in San Francisco, with more than 25,000 people attending (live) to learn more about the power of the Internet of Everything and the value it will bring for years to come.

My favorite part… a ‘dancing’ John Chambers as an intro and close to his opening keynote kicked off the event Monday afternoon.  He focused on IoE as a movement that will be enabled by Fast IT and that change is a constant in business.  He stressed that those who do not change fast enough will not survive.  And, he noted that only 24 percent of the Fortune 500 companies still reside on that list from just 25 years ago.

Rob Lloyd, Cisco president of development and sales, complimented John’s keynote with his own the next day, adding that FastIT is based on Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI) and Intercloud.

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Cisco Live!: Threat-Centric Security from Networks to Data Centers to Clouds

Security has emerged as a leading pain point for CIOs, executives, and even in the boardroom due to changing business models and growing attack surfaces, a threat landscape that is more dynamic by the day and the increasing complexity of IT environments.

With these challenges as a backdrop, attendees of our 25th annual Cisco Live! event last week in San Francisco absorbed over 170 hours of security-focused material, including hands-on labs, seminars, technical breakouts, panel discussions, and keynotes. This overwhelming amount of time and effort is a testament to Cisco’s commitment to protecting our customers against the latest threats across the full attack continuum—before, during, and after an attack.

In case you could not attend or make a session, particular highlights from the week included Chris Young and Bryan Palma’s keynote (must create Cisco Live account to view) examining the security challenges brought about by the Internet of Everything. Chief architect Martin Roesch also led a session exploring threat-centric security, examining the modern threat landscape, and how threat-centric security increases the effectiveness of threat prevention.

From a product perspective, momentum continued as we announced major updates and new products during Cisco Live! to help our customers address their security needs across the attack continuum with protection from the network to the data center to the endpoint to the cloud.

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